26 September, 2010

SWIM WITH THE SHARKS WITHOUT BEING EATEN ALIVE – Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition by Harvey Mackay

I am back again with a book review. This time I am going to tell you about Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive written by Harvey Mackay. The current world in which we live is an ‘ocean filled with Sharks – ‘Competitors’. If you want to survive among them, you must know the technique. That’s what Mr. Mackay teaches through this book.

Now, how it’s related with our chosen field of teaching and school management? Whether you are an Educator or an Administrator or an Edupreneur, we are all in the middle of cut throat Competition. How to survive without being eaten alive is a big question posing us. Here is the relation and the need to read this master piece.

For those who may not be familiar with the author, one only needs to know this: Harvey Mackay is a millionaire and did not waste time waiting for opportunities to seek him out. He is the CEO of Mackay Envelope Corporation, a company he bought for a mere $250,000 that is now valued at over $35 million. Running an envelope company is only a small portion of what this successful man has accomplished in his business and personal life.

Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive is a straightforward, no nonsense approach to how to succeed in business. The book abounds with advice and case studies, motivating the reader to excel in the business world.

The book targets the entrepreneur and primarily focuses on how to get ahead in business and stay one step ahead of the competition. While the advice and “rules” for success cited in the book were not rocket science, they were presented in case study form and included stories of success and defeat in the real business world. While the book did offer some insights in the “do’s and don’ts” of the business world, it failed to actually tell the reader just exactly “how” to achieve success in closing business deals. However, three areas of the book were worth the reading: customer relations, selling tips, and creativity.

Mackay’s section on customer relations really hit home with his philosophy that clients are people, too. While this conclusion may seem strangely obvious, it can be easy to forget when business relationships are strained. One of my favorite quotes from the author is “Most business problems can be solved if you can teach yourself to look beyond the dollar sign. Business revolves around human beings.”

The section on salesmanship and selling tips focused primarily on the basic rules of supply and demand. Several points resonated with me on this topic, including the illusion of demand. Mackay states, “Maintain the illusion of demand regardless of supply.”

Our sense of the worth of an object is not derived from its intrinsic value but from the demand that has been created for that object.” Mackay also strongly encourages the philosophy that it is best to make the customer think that they came up with the idea to buy or sell your product. Mackay points out that “Marketing is not the art of selling. It is the art of creating conditions by which the buyer convinces himself.”

Creativity was actually a constant theme throughout this book. Mackay feels strongly that to be successful in any business, you must be able to think creatively, whether in a sales presentation, marketing campaign, or with customer relationship issues. Mackay is quick to point out that “Efficiency achieved at the expense of creativity is counterproductive” and offers this warning—“Don’t equate activity with efficiency.” He also suggests an open work environment, where ideas can come from any department.

At the end Harvey Mackay tells that, “You don’t learn to swim in a single outing. High-stakes challenges demands practice and perseverance.” If we have the will and spirit, why shouldn’t we be among the most successful people?

Go ahead, get the book, read and apply ‘Mackay ideas’ to succeed in your chosen field!

To buy on line: Swim with the Sharks

Read, Learn and Flourish!

For your success and Glory!